Building a Covered Outdoor Bar



After laying the sod down around the pool and finishing the low lying wood patio that ran parallel to the lake the next step in our grand plan was to incorporate an outdoor bar area for hanging out in the shade and serving drinks under the summer sun.


The outdoor bar was a little more complicated than most. Our property runs at an angle from the corner of the where the tiki bar stands back towards the house. After thinking and talking and thinking and talking some more about it we decided to go with a trapezoid shape for the bar with the wider end closer to the camera in the picture below and the narrower end towards the lake. It’s a little hard to see in pictures but I’ll explain it better a bit later. Take my word for it though the odd angle made for a few pretty Ray Ban outlet complicated cuts and re-cuts and some cleaver calculating to ensure it looked OK from each side.


Once the basic structured was framed out the plywood was added to the roof to provide stability, protect the bartender from the rain and give some much need shade to the yard. After the plywood was screwed to the roof, tar paper and then shingles were nail  to finish off the top. For a while we had contemplated shaker shingles but the cost proved to be too high for even a small project like this so we opted to go with a standard roof and splurge on some stone for the base.


During the whole build Nikolas’ wanted to me in the thick of things, we even had to go buy him his own hammer so he could use that one and not steal his father’s all the time. One of my favorite pictures of Bryan and Nik is below, it sums up how he helped them build throughout the summer. Nik’s whole body is completely tense as Bryan “helps” him to remove a bolt from the frame.


After the main structure was up and the roof and sides had plywood attached it was time to add the stone facade. The stones are actually manufactured stones and are much easier to apply than real stone due to their uniform shape and flat blacks. P1210045010

To get the pattern for the wall we laid each brick out on the floor before applying it to the bar and did a “dry-fit” of each stone. A dry-fit is like a trial run on the floor with no commitment you’re able to move and reposition each block to ensure will fit like a puzzle. We wanted to cut as few stones as possible so this was key to eliminating waste and achieving a consistent spacing between the stones.

P1210046011 Once we had the each stone laid out on the floor they went up one by one with a little cement and a lot of elbow grease.


We started to finish the inside adding bead board to the back wall and roof Although progress has been halted now due to the cold days we’re loving the progress so far.


You can see a better view of the odd angle in this picture. Do you see how the horizontal wall closet to the camera is wide and the wall nearest the lake is much narrower? It’s a really unique design and fits the space perfectly. The view from the inside of the bar is killer. I love how the little summer island is framed by the timber structure.


When done the ceiling treatment will have the bead board finished as well and a few lights to make it useful after dark. Just for comparison sake here’s what it looked like just a few short months ago.


We’re loving our new outdoor bar and looking forward to finishing it up when it thaws out in the Spring. So much better than before.

Psst if you want to read more about this project click here and here.

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  • Rosanne

    You’re building such a fun and useful addition for your wonderful lake life…so happy for you and your family!

  • Geoffrey

    That is awesome. I know here Grand Lake in Oklahoma that there are only a handful of really cool ‘on the water’ personal bars and improvements like that, but we are hoping to be able to do something very similar next year. Thanks for the ‘walk-through’ of your bar project.

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